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What was your favorite new thing you planted this year?

 
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I know the question has been asked what new thing did you plant in your garden this year?  I enjoyed it, and thought it would be interesting to hear the results, and if you did more then one what was your favorite?

I planted several new things this year. I love trying new thing. Having chickens makes it super easy, because if no one likes it, the chickens do, so nothing ever goes to waist.  I have a tie for first place Swiss chard, and longevity spinach.   The swiss chard is new for us.  It was super easy. I started it from seed. Planted the little plants in my wood chip garden behind the green house, and it has grown like a weed ever since. It was one of my first veggies to mature, and is still growing strong.  I will admit we aren't bitter food people, so we didn't love it at first. Now I put it with other stuff, like zucchini and we enjoy it.  The chickens love it and my sister-in-laws and fam all seem to like it.  Seems the more I cut the more grows, so not very many plants has kept everyone in chard.  Not to mention I grew the rainbow variety, and it's beautiful.  
I have been looking into perennial veggies, and longevity spinach came up. I bought a small plant from Etsy (not something I have ever tried before, but luckily it turned out well)  Anyway I got a small plant with a little instruction.  I planted it under my apricot tree.  It has grown well.  We have just started eating it because I wanted to let it get some size on it before we starting removing leaves.  As a plant it has grown well.  It doesn't require much water which is a huge bonus in my book.  I water it heavy about every 10 days or so.  My sister-in-law liked it and wants to grow it, so I'm trying my hand at propagating it.  It's early days yet, but it seems to be doing very well.  Next thing is it tastes good.  It's very crisp so it's a great alternative to lettuce.  I also steamed it and added it to our scrambled eggs.  I don't like slimy, so it still had a little crunch, which believe it or not really was a great addition, nice texture, and taste.  I live in N. California, zone 9b, and for me I will keep growing these veggies, and would totally recommend them.

I also tried to grow Okinawa Spinach.  I like this it's similar to  the longevity spinach in taste. It isn't in the top two because it's a water hog.  For it to be happy I have to water it everyday, at least in the hot part of the summer.  It's beautiful and I will keep growing it too.  It's just not a California friendly as the longevity spinach.  I'm making cuttings of it as well, and it seems to be working.  If it takes I will send some to my aunt in Washington state, I bet it grows like mad there,

I tried to grow Purple tree collards.  Also got them from Etsy.  They started off great, but died shortly after planting.  I recently reordered.  I put one in the ground, and one in a pot.  This time I used root tone, and the weather is still warm, but not scorching hot like it was the first time around.  I think I have had them maybe 10ish days.  So far so good.  Both seem to be alive and it looks like maybe developing little leaves on top.  Time will tell, but I hope the fall weather will do the trick.

Potato onions.  They grew and I got about 3 to 4 bulbs for every bulb I planted.  I can't say how they taste, because I want to replant, so we didn't eat them this year.

Last year I tried to grow artichoke. They died quickly.  This year I was able to keep two alive until a couple of weeks ago.  They grow extremely well for my sister-in-law, who lives in the same town.  They seem to need to be watered everyday.  I bought two plants the other day.  I'm going to plant them in part shade per the advise of a person who grows them successfully in my area.  I hope fall planting and shade do the trick, if not, I will probably not bother.

It has been fun discovering new things.  I'm still at it I just planted broccoli, kale, sorrel, and celery for the first time.  They are all baby sprouts now, but I look forward to seeing how they grow.

I look forward to hearing what new plant you tried, and how it went.
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pollinator
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New things I added this year:

1- cholesterol spinach. We are not excited about eating this one, but it’s ok. It grows really good for us in the shade, which is a major plus. And it doesn’t require much care, plus it’s a perennial for us. So it has lot of pluses going for it. And the sheep love it, so I can always throw the excess trimmings to them to clean up. I’ll keep growing it, though I’m not sure how much we will be eating ourselves.  I like to keep easy, self care foods growing on the farm just in case we need them some day.

2- mizuna. It grew like a weed! Very easy and productive. We didn’t like the taste at all. Threw it all to the chickens. Didn’t even bother trying to sell it. There was no market for it here.

3- chervil.  It was a nice enough herb but not worth the time for us.  I sold most of it to a local restaurant, but it used up too much time for harvesting and cleaning it for sale. I have plenty of other herbs growing, so I simply was not excited enough about this to keep it around. Maybe I’ll try it again later on.

4- And the favorite is…….Aunt Molly’s ground cherry. Tedious to grow because of year around slug issues and feral turkeys. So I plan to set up a table top production bed for it. The plants are quite low to the ground, so next time I plan to try using a grid of some sort to raise the plants higher, making it easier to get the fruits. Fruits are small but very tasty. We loved them. So for us, it’s worth the hassle.
 
gardener
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Nice thread that helps focus on the positive discoveries, Jen! This year I bought Baby Blue Hubbard Squash seeds at Plants of the Southwest (a wonderful dry climate seed resource). I planted the blue winter squash seeds July 4. They now weigh 1 - 10 lbs each and are gorgeous. They are thriving in a low-moisture, full sun, southern exposure on a 1' tall by 10' long hugelkultur-like berm. The sandy soil is enriched with composted manure and top-dressed with wood chips.

By the way, Jen: what is that white screened object behind your rainbow chard? Are you using that to reflect the summer heat off your chard or for humidity or some other  goal? I'm curious about how people approach climate control in the garden. Thanks for sharing your process.
 
Jen Fulkerson
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The white in the background is the back of my greenhouse.
The chard actually got planted there because I was redoing my veggie garden, and it needed to be planted before I was ready.  I just lucked out that it seems to love this spot.
For me it's just a matter of experimenting.  It's super hot and dry where I live. I just try things in different spots until I find the best spot.  I have my raised bed veggies garden. Some hugel beets some traditional.  Most are full sun, but I put in a couple of arched trellises to give a little relief from the sun.  I have my wood chip garden, which is a food forest want to be. (A space we didn't use, I covered with wood chips and started planning.) And I have a hugelkultur, that is not being used at the moment.  I left the gate open one day and the chickens removed the soil down to the wood.  I just haven't gotten to it yet.
 
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I love trying to grow new things, which often means failure and sometimes disappointment, but this thread wants to focus on the favorites, which is good!

I'm most excited about Okra!  This is the third year I've tried to grow okra, but the first which is actually producing pods.  The plants look pitiful and short, BUT they have been blooming and producing pods.  I have either three or four phenotypes expressed among the diverse seeds I started with.  I've made the decision to not harvest the first pods on any plants, hoping those will contribute seed for next year more adapted to my garden.  I've got high hopes!

I'm growing peanuts for the first time this year as well; not sure whether they are growing nuts underground or not, but the tops and blooms look healthy enough.  Tepary beans are also a first for me.  They grew well, and I've been collecting beans as they dry; looking forward to doing a better job cultivating them next year.
 
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I had a packet of free seeds - Melothria Scabra or Mexican Cucumber - technically not a cucumber.

They’ve grown all over the banister on the stairs to our back door. It’s provided a great screen to block out some sun. The fruit are grape sized and delicious straight of the vine. I’ll pickle a bunch next week, Japanese style.  

I would never have known about them let alone plant them. A great discovery.

 
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Hi, I didn't plant anything new this year. (pout) But I planted food for the soul this year. (yea) Pansies, geraniums and daises. The colors make me smile on a rainy, or sad day.

Happy growing

 
pollinator
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Glad that someone else likes the Mexican cucumbers, we were not fans. Not even the chickens would eat them but they are spoiled with plenty of options.

I planted new varieties of chiles, like Orange Spice Jalapenos and Black Hungarian chiles. Both were small and quite hot, but very pretty. But my favorite new thing this year is just eating a different part of radishes. I really like the seed pods of radishes, more than I like radishes, at least raw. So far I've just been eating them raw on a crudite plate, but I am going to try them steamed and salted like you eat edamame.
 
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This spring was my first time ordering from native seed SEARCH, experimented with a few of their offerings.

Ordono peppers were (are) gorgeous, healthy bushes loaded small (1/2- 3/4" inch) peppers that change from purple to yellow to orange to red.  They looked great along the garden paths, and they're moderately spicy.  

Bought blue speckled teparies from them as well, it was my first year trying them, and really just wanted to see how much they can put up with.  Planted them in the hottest, driest part of my garden and they did fine, producing a half-pint of seed without much weeding or watering on my part.  I'm excited to see how they do next year, with a little more attention.  
 
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Su Ba wrote:New things I added this year:



4- And the favorite is…….Aunt Molly’s ground cherry. Tedious to grow because of year around slug issues and feral turkeys. So I plan to set up a table top production bed for it. The plants are quite low to the ground, so next time I plan to try using a grid of some sort to raise the plants higher, making it easier to get the fruits. Fruits are small but very tasty. We loved them. So for us, it’s worth the hassle.



Same! I was expecting them to be off the ground though... not high mind you, but a few inches off the ground. I only got 2 plants to maturity. I'm actually hoping they volunteer.

I have tossed a few close to the apple trees where we have been digging up blackberries trying to take over the world that were being eaten by ants or drying up.

Also tried some tomatillos(sp?). Not going well. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. I should probably yank them up, one has kinda perpetually wilty looking leaves, but the other looks better. They are both so spindly looking. Might be a single fruit on the one. I've still got seeds from that packet to try again somewhere else.
 
master gardener
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I’ve always got several new things on the go. This year I’m trying Chinese artichoke, Stachys affinis again. Last time they just disappeared; I planted the tubers direct in what is now my fruit jungle. This time I started them in pots in the polytunnel (I wasn’t sure where I was going to plant them out). I planted some in the tunnel, and some outside in my new area in the front garden (along with some dwarf Jerusalem artichokes and some Helianthus strumosus both also new to me). The logic was that since I would need to dig the to harvest them it would help clear the new area of grass. Anyway, this time they are growing well, and I’m optimistic I may get a harvest at least.

(Spellings of stachys edited - bloody auto corrector)
 
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Never even thought to grow ginger until this year. Out of 7 rhizomes I put in the ground, 4 survived the early part of the season and seem to be growing very well. In late October, we'll see how much ginger tea I'll be drinking...
 
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Broomcorn! It is very easy to grow, even in poor clay soil. Whole plants are great for fall decoration, and after the chickens eat the seeds, the stalks can be made into brooms too.
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12 ft tall broomcorn
12 ft tall broomcorn
 
Jen Fulkerson
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I'm so glad you posted this May. I have broom corn in my seed packet ready to plant next year.  I can't wait. Thanks Jen
 
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I grew a row of peanuts, just because someone told me it was impossible in New England!
 
Jen Fulkerson
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I like your style Davis
 
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The favourite thing we planted this year was Matt's Wild Cherry Tomato from the Incredible Seed Company.   They are flavour bombs when picked ripe, THE best tasting fresh tomato I've ever had - although I haven't had many.  They were 10.5 on the brix scale.  

We are in zone 1b-2a in NW Ontario Canada.  We started the seeds indoors in early May and transplanted out to our greenhouse in early June.  

This is definitely a variety that we'll grow again next year, I just have to stop eating them all so we can collect seeds.
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Matt's Wild Cherry Tomato
 
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I did malabar spinach from seed. Started in the house then planted outside in July. It did surprisingly well here in London England.

The kids loved the vibrant purple staining berries. Lots of fun using then as 'paint'. Not so fun removing the stains from their clothes.
 
Zamzam Khan
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Love these... they are also knows as cucamelons. I think i have had enough but my neighbours love them.. so will keep on growing to share the love
 
Renee Belisle
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Is this wild ginger?  

We have some wild ginger growing but our plants are still too immature to harvest.
 
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I tried corn, which I have not done well with in the past.  This year I grew "painted mountain," an heirloom variety from Montana.

I did not get a great output for the space, but I was impressed by just what a beautiful plant it was.  I never knew pollen could come in so many colors!
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Corn pollen
Corn pollen
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First day harvest
First day harvest
 
Renee Belisle
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I know, I already posted, but I almost forgot about this too....
I'm excited about everything we grow, new and old, but one surprise this year is acorn squash.  I had been collecting and saving seeds from various grocery store squash, and my boyfriend spread them on our compost heap this spring and wow along with gigantic spaghetti squash, we have acorn squash.  I'm so excited!  We always peel away a generous portion of skin from any produce we buy at the store because of spraying, but it sure is a treat to not worry about that and be able to benefit from the nutrition that a lot of skins offer.  
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Acorn Squash
Acorn Squash
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Spaghetti squash and friend
Spaghetti squash and friend
 
Renee Belisle
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I'm just going to keep answering this because there is so much in the food forest to be excited about.  

Remember these potato seeds that look like little tomatoes that grow on your potato plants? Well, we planted some of the seeds from inside them last spring and finally harvested the potatoes today.  Here they are!  Some pretty blush ones and maybe some with fingerling qualities.  We will save the big ones to replant next spring and maybe eventually get our own strain of Greenstone potatoes growing.  We are definitely trying this again next year, it's like opening up a surprise gift from Nature ❤️
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Potato seed pods
Potato seed pods
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Potatoes grown from true potato seeds
Potatoes grown from true potato seeds
 
Jen Fulkerson
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Renee I'm glad you posted this.  I really want to try planting fall potatoes, but I can't find them anywhere.  I have been seeing potato seeds. I have. Never heard of anyone planting potato seeds, only seed potatoes, so I was leery of ordering them.  Thanks please keep posting, I enjoy learning about new veggies, and love your enthusiasm.  Happy planting
 
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I grew potatoes this year. I was surprised to learn that potatoes are the 1 vegetable crop in the world, but I shouldn’t have been, considering the wide variety of ways you can use them and how nutritious they are. Potatoes are a good source of Vitamins B6 and C, potassium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, phytonutrients, and dietary fiber. Bake, boil, or roast them, and to enjoy the potato’s health benefits, avoid frying them or loading up with cheese, butter, and bacon bits.
 
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I'm not sure if this is quite along the intention of the question, but for me it was Zinnias. Three of my older kids had all saved seeds from some sunflowers to plant again. At the time my 3yo was just a baby. We had to skip a year due to a move, but finally got to plant the sunflowers for those three kids this year, and so the 3yo did not feel left out, I planted some zinnias for her. I got a super late start and wasn't sure if we would get any flowers this year. We got two zinnias and several sunflowers. To hear her yelling across the yard... "Daddy, I have TWO flowers!" just warms my heart up and makes them my favorite new thing I planted. :)
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Jen Fulkerson
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It definitely counts Matt.  Thanks for sharing
 
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Hi Jen,

I've been thinking about your post and wondering.... You grew rainbow chard and it was bitter? Am I understanding that correctly. I love spinach and I have been trying to grow spinach for 10 years but it just isn't going to happen in this climate. Unless I grow it in some pots in my little greenhouse over the winter but I just don't have enough room for that. Too many other things to grow. So I've been trying to find a good substitute. Chard was the closest thing I've found so far that I like. I've grown 5 colored chard for a few years and it was never bitter. I practically ignore it but it still grows all summer long, cutting after cutting; slows down some in the fall and more in winter and then grows again like gangbusters in the spring before it suddenly bolts overnight when the temps reach about 65 degree.  That's O.K.... seeds for next year. All the kales I tried were seriously bitter, even the ones that said they weren't so bitter. Don't care for bitter either. I think it's an acquired taste. This summer I tried an Italian 'Verde De Taglio' chard. It's a lighter, more tender chard that I liked a lot. I'll grow it again. Still not spinach. Did you say the 'Longevity spinach was slimy? I tried 'Malabar spinach'. It was super slimy. Yuck!

I've been growing artichokes for 9 years now on a hill in the screaming hot sun in ARIZONA! I planted them when I was a new gardener and inexperienced and didn't know that they like a cool 'Mediterranean environment ' with offshore breezes! Darn! But they're perennials that have been multiplying and going to seed and thriving for years now in our relentless sun and heat. Fact is, they're thistles and will grow like weeds anywhere. Great mistake!! I wish that would happen more often! You'll get the hang of them soon.

Renee's potatoes look terrific! I was thinking of trying potatoes or sweet potatoes next summer. Sounds pretty easy! But then, this summer my yard was suddenly filled with the Colorado potato beetle. They were on everything, squash, zucchini, cucumbers! Not much damage so far. But I've never even grown a potato! I think I'll wait.

And the other new things I tried this year. I tried 'Dragon's Tongue' bush beans. Very pretty pale green beans with purple stripes. Purple disappears when you cook them. They were super-prolific! Put out hundreds and hundreds of beans. But the taste was a little bland and I won't grow them again. Shoot.

And I tried 6 different varieties of tomatoes. It's been super hot here the last 2 years, more than the usual 100* to 105* temps all summer. It kept going up to 113*  at lot the last 2 years. So I tried new tomatoes suited for really hot climates like Iraq and Texas! I got 2 winners. Indian Stripe tomatoes that have been doing well in Arkansas and Texas. A nice dark red indeterminate tomato with lots of sweet flavor that did really well. (But this summer our temps returned to normal). And a determinate tomato that is fairly young to the heirloom stage, created in 2006. It is a cross between a 'Wilpena Sleepy Family' tomato and a 'Purple Cherokee' and it's called 'Kookaburra Cackle'. I think a lady in Australia created them. It was awesome. Plants are supposed to grow 3-4 feet. One grew to 5and ½ feet. They grew really dense and thick and heavy and quickly started to bend over the tomato cages I put them in. I had to stake the cages up! Next year I'll put them on a trellis. And because they were so dense I didn't realize that dozens of tomatoes had grow in the interiors. So they produced a lot of dark red/brown fruits that were very slightly tart and sweet like a peach is sweet! They were thick and meaty! They were wonderful! I will grow them every year.

And Matt's post brought me to tears! I love zinnias. He is such a good daddy!!!
Happy gardening everyone.

 
Jen Fulkerson
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Ok I take it all back. My new favorite thing is everything new.  I just love trying new veggies, herbs and flowers.  
The weather has finally cooled down enough to plant the rest of my fall/winter garden. I read lettuce should be planted once the temperature is below 80.  This is supposed to help it not be bitter.  I have also planted peas, onions, garlic, lettuce, radishes, spinach and carrots.  The new veggies are broccoli, red sorrel, french sorrel, kale, strawberry spinach, and garlic chives.  All have been direct seed, except two broccoli plants I bought maybe three weeks ago.
The broccoli plants are what has me so excited.  It already looks like broccoli.  I can't wait to try it.
It's what makes gardening so addictive. To put a seed, many so small you can't see it in the soil.  Soon  little seedlings pop out of the soil. So small and delicate it amazing any make it out of this stage.  Then grow into a recognizable plant. To finally grow into the veggies you have waited for.  Such an awesome and amazing process.
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I haven't gotten to eat them yet (maybe next year for some, the following year for others), but I am very excited for my mushrooms. Winecaps, Blue Oyster, Shiitake and Lion's Mane!
 
gardener
Posts: 706
Location: Zone 6 in the Pacific Northwest
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My kids always want to grow things when I start planting seeds in the spring but they can be a little enthusiastic (ie rough) so someone's I find myself taking over. So this year  I decided to allow them each a 4x4 section of my raised beds that they could plant whatever they wanted and I would just let them go with it and keep my mouth shut. They reach got to pick out two things from the Bakers Creek catalogue (so many pictures!) and they could use some of my seeds as well. So we ended up with a lot of things I wouldn't have tried and their gardens were beautiful.

Some new things the kids tried:
Zinnias
Breadseed poppies
Chinese Woolflower
Basalm
Lemon Grass
Luffa
Celery
Dragon Tongue beans
Cilantro (I hate cilantro so that one was not fun for me to smell everytime I walked by but found out that my kids like it)
Fennel
Chamomile

My 4yo was hilariously meticulous with his garden. He planted lots of cucumbers and beans and he was ruthless with removing any plant that looked weak or diseased. But it worked. His garden lush and productive.

Right now I'm very excited about brussel sprouts. The whole family loves eating them roasted and we bought them every week throughout last winter. So everyone agreed that was one we should try to grow. I forgot about them because the squash plants quickly engulfed them. But when the squash died back last week I saw these rows of... broccoli or cabbage or something? I couldn't figure out what they were until I noticed the tiny buds lining each tall stem. Ah-ha! Brussel sprouts! I can't wait to eat them!

My personal choice for new things to try was lemon basil and like basil. They were both so distinct and delicious! Lime tasted like lime and lemon tasted like lemon (and snozzberry tasted like snozzberry).

I also grew Amish paste tomatoes for the first time. It definitely lived up to the hype.

On a whim, I grew some chia from my pantry. It didn't flower but it did grow 8+' tall. It just got flower buds this week. So I'll try again next year and start it inside earlier.
 
Jenny Wright
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Posts: 706
Location: Zone 6 in the Pacific Northwest
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Oh and safflower was new this year too. Very pretty. I meant to try adding the petals as a coloring to food but never did so I'll try that next year.
 
Jenny Wright
gardener
Posts: 706
Location: Zone 6 in the Pacific Northwest
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Debbie Ann wrote:
I tried 'Dragon's Tongue' bush beans. Very pretty pale green beans with purple stripes. Purple disappears when you cook them. They were super-prolific! Put out hundreds and hundreds of beans. But the taste was a little bland and I won't grow them again. Shoot.



I actually liked the taste of the dragon tongue beans. I thought it was a light delicate flavor and the beans were very tender. I'm not a fan of a strong bean taste though.
 
Jenny Wright
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Location: Zone 6 in the Pacific Northwest
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I keep remembering more things... Also planted Hopi Black Dye Sunflowers. They all got eaten by bunnies and deer as seedlings except for one that survived to maturity. The seeds are beautiful and they really do dye your fingers blackish purple!
 
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Location: Aurora, Colorado zone 5
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I didn't do a lot of new things this year but we liked the Squash zucchino rampicante. Excellent used as both summer and winter squash.

I grew a white tomato, which turned yellow when ripe, super sweet taste but wasn't too productive though I would try it again.

Holy basil was new and we enjoyed the flavor. It has earned a small place in the future annual beds.

Not really new but a new way of growing. I've let a small area of Music garlic remain in the ground to harvest greens. Seems to be working out.


 
steward
Posts: 2800
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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Jenny Wright wrote:My 4yo was hilariously meticulous with his garden. He planted lots of cucumbers and beans and he was ruthless with removing any plant that looked weak or diseased. But it worked. His garden lush and productive.



That's too funny. Future landrace seedsaver!
 
Steve Thorn
steward
Posts: 2800
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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Gregory Campbell wrote:I didn't do a lot of new things this year but we liked the Squash zucchino rampicante. Excellent used as both summer and winter squash.



Really good to hear that this one turned out good for you Gregory. I had ordered seeds for this one to plant next year, and had high hopes for it. Looking forward to hopefully getting some tasty squash from it next year!
 
May Lotito
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Location: Zone 6b
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I tried two new slicing tomatoes this year, purple Cherokee and rainbow. Purple Cherokee didn't turn out as great as expected. The shoulder cracked easily, leading to fruit fly infestations and rotting. Also it is too watery inside. I like the heirloom rainbow better: firm, big and more meaty. But it is orange!  An orange tomato and egg stir fry just doesn't look as appetizing. I will keep it for sandwiches next year but I still need to find a red tomato variety.
 
pollinator
Posts: 97
Location: 3,000 ft up in the mountains of the Mid Atlantic, USA
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The newbies:

Sorrel: love its lemony taste. Looking for recipes; like a soup.

Celery: wasn't in love with it. Planted a Chinese leaf celery and leaves were bitter from May through November no matter what temp, no matter I gave it lots of water. Was never able to use it for cooking and the chickens won't touch it. Want to try stalk celery next year. Don't think I have the fortitude to grow it like store bought but would like that woodsy base flavor in soups and stews.

Atlantic pumpkins. If you want super big pumpkins for display, these are the kind to get. Mine didn't get deep orange, rather a sherberty orange. Oh so fun to watch them grow bigger and bigger. Visitors to the house would do a double take at their size out in the garden. At picking time, everyone wanted to know where they were going, so I put down them by the mailbox and all can enjoy. For bigger pumpkins, thin to just one plant per mound. Like all my squash, I put small boards under squash and pumpkins. Keeps them from rotting on the bottoms. Hilariously, it gave the pumpkins flat bottoms which turned out to be very useful when displaying. These are going to be an annual keeper for me just because they are a happy plant and fruit and gave me so much joy every day. And will do so until I change out my mailbox area display for Christmas.

Planted leeks a month ago and they are going strong. Looking forward to leek soup.

Oak leaf lettuce: Really like the texture and taste. Leaf has definite oak leaf look. Our weather is skitzy weird this year. Low 70's today, 20 degrees the other morning. My lettuce is saying what the heck??? We can't do 50 degree temp changes; we're on our way out even though you have us protected. Thankfully, I have tons of other greens and am always madly in love with my succulent Miner's lettuce which is small leafed but much hardier.

Miner's lettuce is not new for me, but I am the self-designated Miner's lettuce ambassador because it is lovely to look at, fun to add to a salad, or as it's own tender salad. Never fails to pique guests interest and they always like it. It has a small but succulent leaf and is much hardier and long-lasting in the fall and winter than all of the other lettuces. It doesn't particularly like heat and will be stunted until the cool weather arrives and then it will take off. Only slightly goes to seed and easy to top those small branches and extend its offerings for months if you have it protected from heavy heat or cold.

Turnips: trying my first recipe tomorrow. Not even sure if I can make them into something I like, but wildly successful in the garden. The seed packet said "Turnip Tops". Since I have so many greens never actually got around to steaming some. But then they put on beautiful root turnips. While the regular turnip seed I planted was a super slow starter, hardly any tops and the roots are very tiny and several months old. Go figure. Maybe they will be a winner by spring.

Daikon radish: super successful. I have 121 small beds planted in various greens and root crops that are protected from the elements by heavy plastic clear tubs which have a pretty long life span if you take very tender care with them. I think these radishes will survive until a heavy snow. Out of stronger protection so just using a couple layers of shade cover on them. For now, only using them in recipes one way: shredded on salads. I really like the peppery, slightly hot taste of them along with shredded carrots and red radishes on salad greens. Only planted a small bed so going to use them as an experiment to see how long they will survive nightly temps in the low 20's without complete coverage. I'm guessing that even if the tops turn to mush, the radish root will stay protected in the very cold ground through most of the winter. That was my experience with red radishes last year. Cold to near freezing (NOT frozen ground) will keep root crops far longer than if you picked and refrigerated them. Yes, I could be canning them, but not a fan of canned food as I believe you lose most of the nutrients. Also you can't freeze radishes. I tried. Well, you can, you just get mush when they defrost so there goes all the fun of a super crisp, crunchy radish.
 
gardener
Posts: 1482
Location: western NY (Erie County), USA; zone 6a.
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Rudbeckia and borage. I know, not impressive, but I have wanted for years to simply grow basic flowers from seed. Finally, my black-eyed-susan seeds took root and flowered here and there.

The borage was planted last year and it self sowed for this year. Interestingly, nowhere near where last years' was.
 
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